|The common azalea - someone else's azaleas|
Here, azaleas are everywhere. There is even an annual Azalea Festival that showcases these beautiful plants. Every year around the time of the festival, the garden centers here have their azaleas on sale. Every year, I buy some. This year, I'm going to quit doing that. For some reason, every azalea I try to grow, dies.
I have no idea why I can't grow an azalea. They obviously like this climate. It's obvious to me that everyone else can grow them. I have put them in almost every bed in my garden. Lots of sun, lots of shade, and everything in between. I was lamenting the fact that my azaleas always die to another gardener, and he said it was my soil.
I thought about that for a while. No, it can't be. Although some areas where I have had azaleas planted have less than perfect soil, others areas have had beautiful, dark, fertile soil. It doesn't seem to matter where I plant them - they die.
Nor does it matter how much water they seem to get here. Some have been planted in dry areas, some in wet areas, and some in areas that are neither wet nor dry. It makes no difference.
It also doesn't seem to matter what kind of azalea it is, either. I have tried big ones, little ones, even native deciduous ones. They all croak on me.
|Again - these are not my azaleas|
Different sun, water, type, and soil. I've tried it all. Nothing seems to make a difference. No one understands why my azaleas die. I don't either. Plants do grow here. Plants are happy here! Well, at least, most of them. And the plants that have died, I generally have an idea why. But not azaleas. They are not happy, and I have no clue why they aren't.
So, this year I will quit. I will quit trying to figure it out. I will quit planting more azaleas in the hope that I will figure it out. I will quit buying azaleas. Even the ones on sale. I will quit pinning my hopes on eventually having large bushes bursting with blooms every spring.
It's just not going to happen.
|These aren't mine, either|
Common implies easier. But sometimes, it just isn't.
Instead of azaleas, maybe I'll try something exotic instead.
(The photos were taken last March. If you want to see more azalea photos like these, click HERE and HERE.)
Do you grow azaleas?